The Spa at the Bacara
Courtesy Photo

The fronds rustled in the gentle breeze as I reclined in the shade of a palm tree. With my skin still tingling from a spa treatment and my belly full of turkey sandwich and fresh fruit smoothie, I soon fell into slumber. I was in paradise, but I wasn’t on a tropical island vacation — I was at the Bacara Resort & Spa.

Anchoring the northern entrance to Goleta, the 14-year-old Bacara has long been a favorite with tourists, and on a recent visit to its spa, I discovered why. I was invited to select a treatment from the extensive, recently updated spa menu and chose their signature facial, the Bacara SeaCreation. As the name suggests, the skin product used — BABOR ( — comprises microorganisms harvested from the ocean depths, anti-aging proteins, and other scientific-sounding ingredients. The treatment promised (and delivered) a “dramatic improvement” to my skin. (Added bonus: A portion of the proceeds from this particular selection goes into the Gaviota Coast Conservancy coffers.)

For 80 minutes, a delightful and knowledgeable spa employee named Holly cleansed, plumped, peeled, and toned my epidermis while I sunk into deep relaxation. When time was up, I was given the bottles of BABOR used on my face — eye cream, serum, and rich cream — and sent on my way to enjoy the rest of the 42,000-square-foot luxury spa’s amenities.

I chose to forego the sauna and whirlpool and headed to the Spa Café for lunch. From the nutritionally conscientious menu, I ordered the aforementioned sandwich, which I ate on the outdoor patio overlooking the saline spa pool. While I dined, the sky alternated between foggy and sunshiny, the cloud cover abating completely by the time I made my way poolside, where I spent the next two hours between sleep and wake.

I’d come to the resort frazzled from a long work week. After five hours at the Bacara, I was in a state of calm, rejuvenated by the facial, food, and fabulous location. The tourists definitely have it right.

For more info and to make spa appointments, call (805) 571-4210 or visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.